DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin announced that late yesterday afternoon, a jury found an Addison man guilty of setting fire to a vehicle in the parking lot of an Elmhurst car dealership in the spring of 2022. Following a two-day trial in front of Judge Mia McPherson and approximately two-and-one-half hours of deliberations, a jury found Dario Salas, 41 (d.o.b. 7/7/1981) formerly of the 100 block of Michael Lane, guilty of two counts of Arson, a Class 2 Felony. On April 14, 2022, Salas appeared at a bond hearing where bond was set bond at $200,000 with 10% to apply. He has remained in custody at the DuPage County Jail since that time.
On April 13, 2022, at approximately 1:14 a.m., officers with the Elmhurst Police Department responded to the Elmhurst BMW car dealership located at 500 W. Lake Street for a vehicle on fire in the west parking lot. Upon their arrival, officers found a black Audi on fire. The Elmhurst Fire Department arrived on scene and extinguished the fire. Through the course of their investigation, authorities learned that on April 13, at approximately 1 a.m., Salas entered the BMW parking lot from the northwest corner and approached the Audi vehicles parked in the west parking lot. Salas then poured gasoline on the vehicle, set the vehicle on fire and then left the parking lot. Salas was quickly identified as a suspect in the case and was taken into custody after Elmhurst police officers located him in Addison less than two hours later.
“Yesterday afternoon, a jury found Mr. Salas guilty of intentionally setting fire to an Audi, totally destroying the vehicle, causing severe damage to two nearby vehicles and endangering the dealership as well surrounding businesses,” Berlin said. “Thankfully, the Elmhurst Fire Department was able to contain the fire and minimize damage to the dealership. I thank Judge McPherson for ensuring a fair trial for both sides as well as the jury for their service. I also thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Alyssa Rabulinski and Nicole Wilkes-English for their efforts in preparing and presenting a strong case to the jury that ultimately led to their guilty verdict.”
Salas’ next court appearance is scheduled for June 22, 2023, for sentencing.